If you’ve set foot in a bookstore in the past few years, you’ll have noticed the signs/tags saying, “TikTok Made Me Buy it.” Nope?
Here’s an example from an online retailer – this is the kind of metadata some publishers add to UK Amazon. Mentioning TikTok in the book title helps authors show up in TikTok-related searches and gives their books a sense of social validation:
TikTok is known to be the most popular among Gen Z users, although it is growing rapidly. From my perspective as an almost Gen Z-er, the platform is both meaningful and completely alienating. It’s an interesting mix, but I went to the trenches (read: a rabbit hole of BookTok content, full of healthy, enthusiastic readers) and came back with a list of titles I’ve seen over and over and Again.
These range from historical and contemporary fiction to romance, YA romance and fantasy, showing just how many niche communities of genre fiction readers are thriving on BookTok. It’s not necessarily consistent as a reading list – but if you’re sociologically curious about what’s going on in the world of BookTok, I hope this can help.
1. “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” by Taylor Jenkins Reid
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo features a protagonist of the same name – a Hollywood star who, in his 60s, decides to share his life story with a journalist who is going through a divorce. Evelyn is one of those characters obituaries call larger than life — from her wide-eyed, ambitious youth to a show business departure and seven husbands along the way, her epic life story is delighting TikTok critics with its immersive storytelling, broad scope and flawed, complex characters. Many readers note that the protagonist’s struggles as a woman in a male-dominated industry and the obstacles put in her path due to her bisexual Cuban identity make this a fascinating experience even for readers who don’t typically read books. historical fiction. The numbers certainly match!
(Note that there is another book with the number seven and an Evelyn in its title, The 7 ½ deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton, a murder mystery that won a Costa Book Award in 2018. This title is also well reviewed, but if you’re looking for a Hollywood celebrity story, you’ll find that this is the wrong book!)
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2. “It’s Ending With Us” by Colleen Hoover
This contemporary romance novel tells the story of Lilly, a young business owner recently settled in Boston. At first glance, the book seems fairly predictable — she meets a man she’s interested in, Ryle, and then soon bumps into her high school sweetheart, resulting in a complicated resurgence of old emotions. At its core, however, Hoover looks beyond the characters themselves and the darker undercurrents that run through romantic relationships — things like domestic violence and emotional manipulation.
Known for her books containing unexpected twists, Colleen Hoover’s name is spreading like wildfire among TikTok readers.
Obtain It ends with us at Bookstore or Amazon
3. “The Love Hypothesis” by Ali Hazelwood
This love story sees PhD student Olive meet dashing young professor Adam. Each of them has their reasons for deciding to fake a relationship – a popular romantic trope adored by readers of the genre – but, as you might expect, the relationship is gradually moving past its “fake” label. Loved by fans for its cheesy characters, academic setting, and witty rom-com energy, this is a book that many readers attribute to being giddy, entertained, blushing, and happy. Published in the midst of a pandemic, Ali Hazelwood’s novel reached the TikTok reading world when it needed it most.
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4. “A Court of Thorns and Roses” by Sarah J. Maas
A court of thorns and roses is a novel for young adults, loosely based on the story of Beauty and the Beast. It follows 19-year-old Feyre, a human who kills a wolf — except the wolf isn’t just a wolf, but a fairy. In accordance with fairy justice, she is then held captive by a mysterious masked figure with green eyes. The fantasy romance that follows leaves readers with “the heart[s] racing,” to quote a Goodreads reviewer – and of course the book wouldn’t be complete without a “sexy villain” character.
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5. “The Atlas Six” by Olivie Blake
Every year, the best magicians in the world are recruited into a secret group called the Society of Alexandria. Challenges ? Wealth and power if you succeed, death if you are unlucky. They are to live together for a year and show off their brains, using the Society’s archives to offer a unique insight into magic – think Doctor of Magic meets reality TV. The rivalries, sexual tension, and mistrust between the six is a story that would find its place on your dark college bookshelf.
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6. “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens
Where the Crawdads sing is set in North Carolina, where young Kya, a recluse abandoned by her family and shunned by the city, lives alone in the swamp, finding her resilience in the natural world. When a popular footballer dies under mysterious circumstances in the swamp, the town blames Kya and the narrative combines flashbacks with fragments reporting the progress of the murder investigation. Praised for his lyricism, Where the Crawdads sing touched a large number of readers with its sensitive depictions of nature and Kya’s independent spirit.
Obtain Where the Crawdads sing at Bookstore or Amazon
7. “The Song of Achilles” by Madeline Miller
by Madeline Miller The Song of Achilles is one of the best examples of the absolute power of TikTok to sell books. Originally released in 2012, this backlist track resurfaced on the charts when it started appearing on TikTok lists of devastating plays. It’s a poetic tale from Greek mythology, a strange coming-of-age story that takes place between Achilles and Patroclus, who grow up together on Mount Pelion, then go to war in Troy. In the violent context of war, the tenderness between the two young men makes a remarkable contrast — and if you know The Iliadyou will know that the story is not going to end well.
Obtain The Song of Achilles at Bookstore or Amazon